Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York will succeed Nancy Pelosi as leader of the Democratic Caucus.
The 52-year-old Jeffries will be the first Black lawmaker to lead a party in Congress.
The new whip will be a woman—Katherine Clark of Massachusetts—and the No. 3, Pete Aguilar of California, will become the highest-ranking Latino in Congress after rising in prominence from his perch on the high-profile Jan. 6 committee.
Elections took place behind closed doors, where members voted by secret ballot. All three ran unopposed.
In a statement following his election, Jeffries said he and his newly elected colleagues will inherit their roles from “iconic” predecessors and work with the “seriousness and solemnity” of the present political moment.
“I am particularly humbled to be accepting this honor alongside my friends and partners in leadership, incoming Democratic Whip Katherine Clark and incoming Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar. Katherine represents another important crack in the glass ceiling, a trailblazer in the tradition of Speaker Pelosi,” he said.
Pelosi issued a statement congratulating her successor, as well as Clark and Aguilar.
“Congratulations to Leader-designate Hakeem Jeffries, Whip-designate Katherine Clark and Chairman-designate Pete Aguilar! Together, this new generation of leaders reflects the vibrancy and diversity of our great nation—and they will reinvigorate our Caucus with their new energy, ideas and perspective. Now, with the fullest confidence of our members, our new leaders are well-prepared to carry on Democrats’ fight for working families and defense of Democracy,” she said.
“Hakeem Jeffries’ elevation as House Democratic Leader is a turning point in the history of the United States Congress. Never before has an African-American leader — or any leader of color — held the top position for either party in either chamber,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, 83, and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, 82, also announced they would step aside from their leadership posts shortly after Pelosi’s declaration.
Jeffries, in a statement following his election, noted his willingness to work with Republicans while continuing to fight for his party’s priorities.
“We are going to continue to put People Over Politics and fight for all our values. House Democrats will lift up working families, the middle class and those who aspire to be part of it, young people and senior citizens, veterans, the poor, the sick and the afflicted and the least, the lost and the left behind,” he said in a statement.
“More must be done to combat inflation, defend our democracy, secure reproductive freedom, welcome new Amerians, promote equal protection under the law and improve public safety throughout this country,” Jeffries said.